Activity 4: Role Clarity

This activity is for prompting discussion about effective practices for establishing and sustaining role clarity and strong governance.

For some of the below, depending on the public library, there are  overlapping board-trustee and library director responsibilities, such as participating in community engagement, partnership development, and strategic planning. Discuss the importance of role clarity and what role clarity may look like for overlapping responsibilities.


Set high-level strategic directions

Participate in gathering community feedback

Meet with key stakeholders, such as the chair of the school board

Build partnerships for strengthening library services, such as with local government management or other operational leaders of community-based organizations

Provide expert advisement on library trends for strategic planning

Develop and manage the process for achieving strategic outcomes

Set foundational policies, such
as a code of conduct

Closing the public library on short notice due to a crisis.

Review policies

Provide appropriate level of informational background (trends and issues, statistics, proposed budget, financial reports, legislation, correspondence, etc.)

Manage staff, including recruitment, hiring, lay-offs, and staff  development required for meeting strategic direction

Establish operational policies or

Support and participate in
strategic planning

Manage the budget

Manage operations, such as facility needs, space design and use, collections, programming, and information and reader’s
advisory services

Evaluate outcomes